Process for Selecting Instructional Accommodations

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The guidelines provided for selecting accommodations and/or modifications are based on a determination and review of the student’s Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE), Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP), Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), and an analysis of student needs in specific areas. Prior to determining whether or not to provide specific accommodations and/or modifications, four factors should be considered:
  1. Specific student characteristics drive the accommodations and/or modifications, not the student's disability.
  2. Using an accommodation and/or modification is dependent on the targeted learning outcome(s).
  3. There are varied forms of the same accommodation and/or modification.
  4. Students should assume control over their need for accommodations in areas where they can become more independent.

If instructional accommodations and/or modifications are deemed appropriate, the ARD/IEP committee must identify the kinds of changes that must be made. The least intrusive accommodations and/or modifications should be considered first. Below are some examples of accommodations and/or modifications that might be considered when developing a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP).

  • Size: Should the assignment or number of items that the student is expected to complete be shortened?
  • Input: Should the format of the information delivered or the prompts a student needs be changed? Does the student need graphic organizers, outlines, auditory text,or large print?
  • Output: Should the student respond orally, dictate his/her response to a transcriber, or respond via computer?
  • Support: Should the student receive increased support such as a note taker or note-taking guide, peer tutor, and verbal or visual cues or reminders?
  • Time: Should the amount of time that the student needs to complete assignments be changed? Should assignments be shortened or divided into segments?
  • Participation: Should changes be made to how a student participates? Should the student listen to material on tape, give verbal responses, or use picture symbols, graphs, collages, etc.

  • Difficulty: Should accommodations be made to the skill level or problem types? Should the level of what the student is expected to master be changed?
  • Alternate Goals: Should the goals or expected outcomes be changed from primarily academic objectives to the development of life skills,social skills, or key knowledge objectives?

Once the ARD/IEP committee identifies accommodations and/or modifications in a student's IEP, federal law and state rules mandate that all instructional staff must implement the instructional accommodations and/or modifications. Failure to implement them places campus staff and the school district in legal jeopardy.
All teachers and other instructional staff must document implementation of the identified accommodations and/or modifications used for each student. The documentation provides ARD/IEP committees with data and guidance to identify appropriate strategies, and a record of student progress utilizing the specific strategies. Documentation should be contained in lesson plans and grade books as well as portfolios, work samples, performance and assessment samples, if appropriate.
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